A blue haired moppet in a polka dotted dress, who hasn’t grown even by a day ever since she graced a billboard for the first time in 1967, is at the core of India’s longest running print ad campaign.  The Utterly Butterly girl has held the attention of the Indian public for over four decades now.  As a teacher of advertising and someone who cannot wait to see Amul’s next satirical take on what’s hot and happening in India I think this blog post was long overdue.

Here is a closer look at an advertising campaign that has evinced the interest of Indian audiences for its unique blend of humor, satire, great illustrations and the ability to draw everyone’s attention to the dark side of current events with a funny twist….

In the Beginning:

The Amul advertising campaign story as we know it today began in 1966 when Sylvester daCunha, then the Managing Director of the advertising agency ASP, clinched the account for Amul butter. He and Eustace Fernandez, in a serious bid to do away with the dull, boring image of butter created this little girl.

Few know that the Amul moppet was created to counter the then iconic Paulson girl.  The strategy?  A chubby, almost angelic girl who has all her fun and never ages pitted against the very glamorous Paulson girl. A strategy that worked and how!

An Icon Was Born

The “Utterly Butterly Delicious!’ humming thumb-sized girl, dressed in a polka-dotted frock soon evolved in to a ‘pun’ loving star, who with her bold tongue-in-cheek topicals, made way directly into the hearts of millions.

Ever since she graced a hoarding in 1967, the Amul moppet has won many hearts beginning with Mumbai’s homemakers back then.

The People Behind It

Brand Amul

The Creators of the Amul Moppet

Sylvester daCunha and Eustace Fernandez

Current Agency

Da Cunha Associates & Draft FCB UlkaPast Agencies

Same as above 

The Weekly Heads Up

Rahul daCunha, Creative Director, da Cunha Associates , writer Manish Jhaveri and illustrator Jayant Rane are the team that brainstorms to chalk out the weekly advertisement.

Then and now: 
Initially ,the Amul advertising campaign thrived on the strength of their base line and witty puns but later went on to become more topical. If you take a look at the archives of Amul ads you will be surprised to see India changing right before your eyes. The campaign is in fact a humorous take on everything that has made India what it is today.

The Keys to Success:

Simple: The main reason why the Amul advertising campaign has run successfully for so long and managed to retain as well as build interest is that the campaign is ever so simple.  It deals with something that is on everyone’s mind and they are able to identify with the ideas expressed in the advertisement almost instantly.  This also makes the pun ever so evident and enjoyable!

Consistent: The other reason is consistency in advertising.  The campaign has for some time now been very topical.  In this lies the allure.  ‘Utterly Butterly Delicious’ baseline has gone unchanged for the last 40 years or so.

Humor: People tend to look forward to Amul Butter ads, and want to know what the next thing they would say is — they are entertaining.

Evergreen: The incorporation of current socio-economic events, landmarks in sport, films and almost every realm of life in India in Amul butter advertising, the brand is truly evergreen.

Truly the Taste of India: The Indianness of the advertising campaign is hard to miss.  From the topical, to the Hinglish to Amul being the essence of everything that stands for milky goodness made in India. It’s distinctly Indian and the broadest niche brand ever.

A Culture by Itself: A tongue-in-cheek take on every moment of significance in India has made Amul advertising campaign a cultural movement of sorts. 

Quality and Variety: In a milieu of brands grappling for attention Amul advertising campaign stands out for its quality and variety. 

[The article has been written by Mariam Noronha. She is a teacher with over eight years of experience. She has taught a wide range of Management related subjects and has authored and presented papers at national and international seminars and conferences. An avid reader, researcher, writer and blogger; she has authored numerous articles in the fiction, web writing and travel writing genre. ]

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